Category Archives: family

Copper Stars

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to YA!

As the year’s end rolls around I find myself reflecting……. This year has been amazing! I have had great clients, fab projects, fun family time and a little love from some digital and print media. Native Trails, a company with values I admire for it’s commitment to environmentally conscious manufacturing, chose to honor me with this Holiday blog story and I hope you enjoy it!

Designers We Love: Toni Sabatino

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Right off the bat, one thing you notice about Toni Sabatino is she enjoys life and lives it to the fullest. Read through her blog or tweets, or talk to her on the phone, and you get the sense that she infuses fun into everything she does, charming and delighting those in her association. This is not to say that Toni shouldn’t be taken seriously – anything but. She’s definitely a force in the industry: she’s designed kitchens & baths for over two decades, is a member of the KB+B Editorial Advisory Board, is featured on houzz.com TV, and is a member of the Sustainable Furnishing Council.

This holiday season, Native Trails caught up with Toni just after she put up a client’s Christmas tree, adorned with holiday ornaments that embody the holiday spirit: whimsical, charming, elegant. We chatted with Toni about her design style, inspiration, and her Christmas tree tradition.

NT: You have been decorating a client’s Christmas tree for over ten years, and it is has become a holiday tradition for you. Tell us about that.

TS: Aside from decorating for my own family and a few offices, I have had the joy of “bringing Christmas” to a client family by decorating their home for the holidays, including trimming the Christmas tree. For the past few years, my son has helped me, so it truly has become a family tradition for us. Let me just say, this is a BIG tree. Four men set it up and wire it to the wall – then comes the actual decorating. When we started ten years ago the tree had a grand, department store look, with huge, gold dipped pine cones, bows of ribbon and sparkly, red garland. Over the years, as the family has grown and changed, we’ve added paper angels and stars, class pictures attached to paper trees, and the like; giving it an intimate family feel. We incorporate pieces that are meaningful to the family.

NT: This year, you specifically wanted to include Native Trails’ copper star ornaments. What led you to select these?

TS: Every year, I bring the client a little gift – this year, that little something was your stars. As a grandmother, I am very concerned about the future of our planet, so I incorporate sustainable products and materials into my designs whenever possible. I guess you could say this has been even a bigger focus for me this year. Earlier this year, while on a furniture pilgrimage to High Point Market, I learned about and joined the Sustainable Furnishings Council, then took their GREENLeaders training course. So when I learned of Native Trails’ recycled copper holiday ornaments, I felt they were the perfect addition to the tree.
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NT: Thank you so much for sharing your story and tree decorating with us. It turned out beautifully! You’ve been a kitchen and bath designer for over 20 years, and started your own interiors business two years ago. Is it your commitment to sustainability that led you to Native Trails?

TS: Actually, I was first introduced to Native Trails by a client who specifically wanted your copper Farmhouse sink. The family wanted a rich but organic feeling with a rustic quality that would work with the adjoining spaces of the home, and the warmth of the copper sink was a perfect choice. The sustainability was a huge added benefit.

NT: We’re intrigued that your client led you to us. Are your clients often a source of creative inspiration?

TS: Yes, definitely. I like spaces to be congruous and I like clients to wear their spaces well. I gain inspiration from the space I am working on: its natural surroundings, view, architecture, and ultimately the client’s closet! It’s part of my job to get a good handle on the clients’ needs and style and find the products to make it happen. What I love about this is that I’m always adding to my product knowledge and seeking out the newest product innovations.

NT: If your blog is any evidence, you have a good handle on the newest product innovations, and your product knowledge can definitely be seen in your design style. How would you describe your signature style?

TS: I would describe my current aesthetic as contemporary with a nod to old world elegance and a touch of whimsy added in. I love whimsy. I like to incorporate whimsical touches and organic elements in my designs.

NT: We’ll definitely be keeping our eyes peeled for your future designs. Happy Holidays!

For more information on Toni Sabatino, view her website: http://tonisabatinostyle.com/

Thanks so much to Native Trails for the LOVE and I wish all of you the Merriest of Christmas’ and the Happiest of New Years!

XXOO

If your kitchen isn’t the “HEART” of your home, maybe it should be…

Thanks to my wonderful client for sending me this photo.

Thanks to my wonderful client for sending me this photo.

As an interior designer I find my work to be Kitchen-centric. What do I mean? That the kitchen is the heart of the homes I work in. I don’t think you can overstate the importance of the kitchen and bath industry in our ever changing culture. There is the desire by “Boomers” to “age-in-place” and the economy has created the necessity for more multigenerational families. This combined with the popularity of the FOOD NETWORK and what is being referred to as the “slow food’ culture really accentuate the need for good design in these all important spaces in our homes. In regard to the kitchen, our fast paced lifestyle has given rise to the need for quality down time, enjoyed sharing meals with our family and friends. Creating a space that meets cooking, entertaining and storage needs can really enhance your life. Most of my clients are foodies or they would like to be. I have also noticed more people shopping with increasing regularity at the fresh markets popping up all over my beloved New York City and Long Island. Sales of luxury appliances are on the rise at my favorite local appliance haunt, showing that people are willing to invest in this all important room. I feel that having a kitchen open to an adjoining space really makes for better living. It just needs to be well designed so that the chaos and clutter are minimized. Even creating a simple dinner seems less of a chore in a well designed open environment. Have the tools you need at hand and ample storage for the ingredients and it all seems so much simpler. Thinking about the mail and magazines and matchbox cars on the counter? We can make a place for that. Need a computer station or TV in the kitchen to catch the morning news while having breakfast? We can make a place for that, too. Maybe it is that all important family command center with calendars and notices, or drawers for crayons and kids things…regardless … life happens in the kitchen. Creating your perfect kitchen-centric design is my job. If you’re looking to get your home in working order for a life that works start with the kitchen and drop me a note.

The Land Of Milk And Honey

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Given a big great room-kitchen addition and a blank slate, I was dreaming up ideas for a client that loves to cook for her family. I started thinking comfort food…. Rice pudding? Chicken soup? Steak and eggs?
Then I thought of honey. As a kid, I would happily watch the golden drizzle puddle on my toast. That rich amber tone of a glistening bottle of organic honey became my inspiration.
The water jet deco glass tiles in the splash really bring that honey amber tone to life. Paired with the milky tone of the glazed white cabinets, it was a natural. These warm tones mixed with the cinnamon in the stone tops create homey warmth that doesn’t overpower in a large room that doesn’t have a high ceiling. All in all a recipe for comfortable family living.

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St. Patrick’s Day…….

clara ivaldi (2) As a child, some of my fondest memories were hanging around the city with Aunt Clara. She had a beautiful voice, singing with the Oratorio Society during the season at Carnagie Hall and did a few stints at the Met. She worked as an interior decorator in Manhattan and had her own workroom on 53rd street where custom lampshades and pillows were made.  I used to stretch out the window of the third floor to see the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Then off we would go  to eat where Aunt Clara would order a whiskey sour because “the Irish do make great whiskey, not much for wine though”. This week marked her passing at 109 years old. Here she is wearing the green………Happy St. Patrick’s Day and God Bless…………

TONI SABATINO    tonisab@optonline.net         516-972-5455